…As President Marks 76th Anniversary
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to pray for him while they make conscious efforts to also understand his intentions for the country. He also admonished Nigerians to give him more time.
The President said this on Monday while inspecting a special guard of honors mounted by Guards Brigade, of the Nigerian Army in commemoration of his 76th birthday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The President began his day by first attending the 2018 edition of the immigration dialogue put together by the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons held at the Banquet Hall of the State House before returning to his office to inspect the Guard of Honour to celebrate him.
He thereafter proceeded to cut his birthday cake. He said, “Well, I am impressed with the parade, they have put a lot of time behind it, I thank and appreciate them very much”. Asked what to expect going forward, the President responded saying, “We will keep reminding Nigerians about what we have done, how we met the country, what we have been able to do from the time I came in to now with the resources available to us. “Nigerians should continue to pray for me and understand my intentions and give me time”.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the birthday was worth commemorating considering the health challenges the President had been through.
“It is such an exciting time for us to share in this very glorious ceremony of the celebration of the 76th birthday of our dear President and our dear leader. In a typical simplistic manner, you could see just a simple military parade and the cutting of the cake because he has got work to do.
“He has just returned to the office to continue with the day’s proceedings, he came out of an event 2018 National Migration Dialogue and then straight into this. But it is such a joyous and beautiful day to see him strong, healthy, hearty considering the health challenges he went through in the last two years, we cannot wish him any other thing but bountiful health and wisdom to take this country out of the present situation which we find ourselves, a trajectory of prosperity and progress,” he stated.
Mustapha said Nigerians should expect a lot from the government, noting that the President has got a renewed spirit, strength and has resolved to put the country back on the part of greatness.
“That is his ultimate desire, that every Nigerian young, old, upcoming should be able to press whatever desire they want to achieve in the nation that is so endowed with a lot of wealth, a lot of good but have not been able to live up to expectations. There will be a lot that will be released in the next couple of days and Mr. President is so strong and determined to hit the road and I can tell you by the time he starts, Nigerians will be able to have a lot to be thankful for,” he stated.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri Erewa said Buhari’s humility and integrity stand him out and represents the idea leadership Nigerians should strive for at this point in time.
She said, “As the President turns 76 today, we can only wish him the very best. He is a man of unparalleled humility, a man of tremendous integrity. I mean you can say anything about the President but you know he is not corrupt, he will not steal your money.
“At this point in time, that is the kind of leader we need. When I heard about people talking about China, half of the people contesting for offices today would have been executed if they were in China. When you see countries that have grown there has been disciplined, they fight against corruption.
“We need those two things for our country today and President Buhari is providing that discipline, he is at the forefront of the fight against corruption and he is ensuring that sanity is coming back. It’s like building a house, no matter how hard you build you need a good foundation that is what we are going through now, painful period, but I tell you we can only reap tremendous benefits. We need to support the President and Insha Allah he will lead us by the grace of God till 2023 in our nation”.
Brig. General Umar Musa, Commander, Guards Brigade justified the parade ceremony in honour of the President, saying the decision was informed by the fact that handling ceremonial activities in the State House fell under the purview of the Guards Brigade.
He said, “It is in that regard that we decided to organize this surprise birthday package for Mr. President. He was not aware until the preparation was completed.
“This is a real privilege to have Mr. President come out and this will engineer us to do more, we will redouble our efforts in the course of our duty in the State House”.
Among top government functionaries that graced the occasion were the Service Chiefs, Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Danbazzau, Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah among others.